By John-Paul Flintoff

To give what I haven’t received is always an option – Marianne Williamson

I wrote this on the back of an envelope recently after stumbling across it in a book.

It’s something we could all usefully remember, whenever we find ourselves blaming others for failing to do or be what we think they “should”.

Specifically, I’m thinking of the many times I’ve heard complaints along those lines, when working with individuals on communication problems at work.

Possibly the most elegant example was when a woman fretted that the man she reported to never gave her direct feedback. He always went behind her back to someone else.

“How can I make him do that?” She looked close to despair.

Have you asked him?

“No, she said.

But you want him to give you direct feedback?

I watched the cogs turn. And suddenly she was transformed, no longer resentful and disempowered but actually laughing at what had previously made her so cross.

JP Flintoff is founder and CEO of Speak/LISTEN

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